If you are familiar with the internet, then you might be familiar with the messaging board known as 4chan – sometimes referred to as the ‘asshole of the internet’ or ‘where dignity goes to die’. It’s a place where anonymity reigns supreme and all manner of memes, rage comics, and tentacle hentai originates. Odds are, any meme you’ve ever seen at one point was posted on 4chan first (the lifecycle is something like 4chan > reddit >9gag > facebook).
The messaging boards are divided according to interest and there are a wide variety of topics; from Pokemon to graphic design, and from porn to science and math. However, one place you should definitely never show your parents is the thread known as /b/ (users of this thread are known as /b/tards). I’m not going to spend any more time explaining 4chan, but I just needed to provide context to this image thread that was posted recently.
In the vein of the recent Taydolf Hitlwift scandal, certain denizens of the internet find delight in trolling preteen females. However, sometimes (and this happens only very rarely) these trolls are surprisingly thought-provoking.
Popular female-oriented blogs like Things Boys Do We Love or Just Girly Things gain popularity by sharing postcard-like memes typically of a saccharine image with just the right amount of X-Pro II filter and lens flare, overlaid with text relating to either things boys do we love, or just girly things (surprise surprise). For example, something boys do we love: ‘when he cooks for you’, and a girly thing: ‘wishing you had eyes that people look at and say, wow, I wish I had her eyes’.
They’re not particularly deep, nor are they designed to be. They’re just typical teenage problems that girls relate to and reblog
to continue the perpetuation of their feelings of inadequacy and insecurity. for fun. However, some people have taken to attaching images from history and wartime alongside these phrases. The results are somewhat disturbing and moving to consider. A post about seeing crystal clear water at the beach is immediately juxtaposed with a stark image of starving African children. ‘Being strong enough to carry me’ takes on a whole different meaning when a soldier carries his fallen comrade through battle. ‘Missing your friends’ is almost enough to induce tears.
The juxtaposition of these image memes could be read as revealing the shallow and fickle nature of teenage girl problems. However, as one insightful commenter said, the old men and the soldiers in the photos fought and gave up their lives for the freedoms of their loved ones back home precisely for the reason that they could live carefree lives in peace and freedom. The result? Apparently shallow and fickle problems such as these. To paraphrase Frank Miller’s Sin City: “An old man dies, a young girl lives. Fair trade”. Nonetheless, it makes you realise that your problems may not be as big as you think them to be, and it forces you to count your blessings when compared to those in the added images.
So what was originally a bit of a classic internet troll, ended up being something much more interesting and thought-provoking. Sometimes, good things can come out of the internet.